Web Hosting DNS Settings for Third-Party Nameservers
This page lists the DNS settings that technically advanced customers can use if they run their DNS nameservers elsewhere, but still want Tiger Technologies to host their website.
Most customers do not need the information on this page. It’s only for customers who are doing something unusual by having another organization handle their DNS service while we handle their website.
On this page:
- Are you sure you need to do this?
- DNS entries to add
- Can I enter your server IP address as an “A record” at the other company?
- The “zone apex” problem
If you do this, please note the following limitations:
- We don’t recommend doing this. Instead, most people should let us handle their DNS nameservers, or they should move their website to the same company that handles their nameservers; that’s the preferred and more reliable way. We describe this method only because some customers have no alternative, not because we recommend it.
- This only works for “http://www.example.com/” and other subdomains of “example.com”. It does not work for the top-level “http://example.com/” without “www” (sometimes called a “naked” or “zone apex” hostname) unless you have your own solution to that problem (some possibilities are described below).
- If you set things up this way, our system will still send you reminders asking you to point your nameservers at our company. You’ll have to contact us and ask us to turn those reminders off.
- We won’t be able to automatically obtain a wildcard Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate for your site if you do this; you’ll have to use our control panel to request a certificate for just the hostname(s) you point here.
- This page only explains how to point a website at Tiger Technologies Web servers. We have a separate page explaining how to point email at our mail servers if you need it.
Are you sure you need to do this?
A common misconception is that you might need to do this just to keep your email or domain name registration with another company. That’s not the case. We can handle the DNS nameservers even if you:
- Keep the email elsewhere, by adding MX records with us to “point” the mail at the other company; and/or
- Leave the domain name registration with another company and use their interface to point the nameservers here.
Also, when the website and email are split between two companies, some people wonder whether it’s better to have the website provider or the email provider handle the DNS. The answer is that it usually makes more technical sense to have the website provider do it, because the website provider may need to enter raw IP addresses for A records that can change (see the sections below), whereas the email provider won’t be using raw IP addresses — they’ll be using MX records that can be entered once and then left alone.
DNS entries to add
The “example.com” shown below is a generic example.
To see the exact DNS settings to use for your account, please enter the domain name of a website hosted by Tiger Technologies at the top of this page.
If you’re okay with the limitations described above, the DNS entry you should create at the other company is a CNAME:
www.example.com. CNAME example.com.customers.tigertech.net.
If you want to point additional subdomains at our web servers, you should add those in the same way. For example, to point “store.example.com” here, you’d also add:
store.example.com. CNAME example.com.customers.tigertech.net.
The special example.com.customers.tigertech.net. CNAME target is guaranteed to always point at the correct IP address of your website with us. Note that it ends with a dot, and that dot is important — be sure to include the dot when you enter it at the other company (although we’ve heard reports that some companies, including GoDaddy, automatically add the dot for you and require that you omit it when typing the hostname).
Can I enter your server IP address as an “A record” at the other company?
No. If you do that, it will appear to work at first, but will stop working when your site’s IP address changes on our servers, which can happen even with a “dedicated” IP address (because “dedicated” is not the same thing as “static forever”). Although that doesn’t happen often, it will happen without notice as we grow our network, defend against “denial of service” attacks on certain IP addresses and ranges, and make other changes.
Always use a CNAME record.
Never enter the IP address of one of our web servers as an “A record” into another company’s DNS servers.
Just so it's clear, our company is no different from any other company in this regard. It’s almost impossible to find a hosting company that can guarantee that an IP address (even an address they advertise “dedicated” or “static”) will never change. People occasionally tell us “company XYZ offers static IP addresses”, but if we ask that company “have you ever needed to change the address of any of your static IP customers in the past?”, they’ll say that they had to make changes at some point as they moved data centers or something similar. We just try hard to make the potential problem clear up front, to avoid problems later.
The “zone apex” problem
If you follow the instructions above, “http://www.example.com” will work reliably, even if the IP address of your site changes (because we make sure that the “example.com.customers.tigertech.net” CNAME target always points at the right IP address).
However, most DNS providers won’t allow you to enter a CNAME for the top-level “http://example.com” hostname that doesn’t include “www” (sometimes called the “naked” or “zone apex” hostname). The only thing you can usually enter is an A record IP address. But entering an A record would cause the hostname to break in the future when the IP address changes, so that’s not a good solution, either. This is a difficult problem to solve, and is the main reason we don’t recommend doing this.
If you need the top-level hostname to work, and your DNS provider doesn’t allow you to enter a CNAME target for “example.com”, you’ll need to solve this problem somehow. Here are some possibilities:
- Point the A record for example.com at a separate IP address you control, then set up a web server at that IP address to redirect “http://example.com” requests to the “http://www.example.com” CNAME. You’ll presumably know when your own web server changes IP address, and you can update your DNS A record at the same time. (If the company that manages your DNS nameservers already points example.com at a web server that offers a web redirect option, you can use that. Most companies do; for example, Network Solutions offers one of their own IP addresses that always redirects to www.) This solves the problem properly, and is by far the best option.
- Use a DNS service such as Cloudflare, DNSimple or DNS Made Easy that provides a proprietary way to work around the “you can’t add a CNAME at the top level” problem. This is also a reliable solution.
- Point the A record for example.com at an IP address that converts all requests to “www”, such as http://wwwizer.com/naked-domain-redirect, and hope they don’t stop providing the service or change their IP address.
- Look up the IP address of your site with us using a tool like nslookup example.com.customers.tigertech.net, point an A record at it anyway, then monitor it (preferably using an automated system) and update it when it stops working. This method almost guarantees you’ll eventually see some downtime for people visiting your site using “http://example.com”. (If you do this, you can reduce, but not eliminate, the frequency of changes by getting a dedicated IP address.)